Ã˜ Starting in his 81st Winston Cup points event, Steve Park in the Dale Earnhardt, Inc.-owned ...
Ø Starting in his 81st Winston Cup points event, Steve Park in the Dale Earnhardt, Inc.-owned #1 Pennzoil Chevrolet Monte Carlo heads to Richmond, Va., for the Chevy Monte Carlo 400 this Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway; shown live on ESPN beginning at 7:30 p.m. EDT.
Ø Finishing 10th at Darlington this past weekend, the Pennzoil driver now has posted seven top-10 marks this season. Looking as though he wasn't going to finish with a top finish, the Pennzoil crew got Steve Park back onto the track quickly during that last pit stop to earn the spot.
Ø Remaining 13th in the points standings, Park gained on the drivers in front of him in the championship race -- only 110 points from the 11th spot. With Jeff Gordon posting a better finish (fourth) at Darlington, Park lost a little ground on getting into the top 10 of the Winston Cup points standings. However, the team must keep the consistency rolling as several drivers are riding on Park's heels with teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. right behind him by a mere 44 points.
Ø During the spring outing at Richmond, Park put up a very impressive second-place qualifying run -- beat out by Rusty Wallace very late in the session. Running strong against Wallace early in the race, the Pennzoil team struggled during pit stops, losing several positions on the track. Park, though, rallied from as far back as 21st to finish the Richmond race in the 11th spot.
Ø Park has competed on the .75-mile track in a Winston Cup car only four times, but his two Busch outings proved highly successful. Starting second in both of his Busch attempts, Park put the AC Delco Chevrolet in winner's circle during the fall event in 1997 after finishing third during his first run at Richmond.
"The pit guys really gave us that top 10 this past week at Richmond," said Park. "We ran hard all day and got the car good on the long runs. After being loose throughout the whole weekend, Paul (Andrews) did a good job of tightening the Pennzoil Chevrolet so I could get it around the track better."
"We ran good at Richmond, the pit stops is what hurt us that night," said crew chief Paul Andrews. "We're bringing the same car, the same qualifying set up and Goodyear is bringing the same tire so we should be all set for another good qualifying effort and another good run during the race. The pit guys have proved themselves lately with some consistently good stops."
"The weather is just a small variable at Richmond since it's a short track," continued Andrews. "It might be a little quicker, but the set up is basically the same. We were happy with what we had before so we should be okay."
<pre> Steve Park Richmond International Raceway Performance Record
Year Race St Fin Laps Status Winnings 2000 Pontiac Excitement 400 (WC) 2 11 400/400 Running $41,050 1999 Pontiac Excitement 400 (WC) 17 34 359/400 Running 28,925 Exide 400 10 16 399/400 Running 35,730 1998 Pontiac Excitement 400 (WC) DNS Exide 400 40 27 397/400 Running 23,255 1997 Hardees 250 (Busch) 2 3 250/250 Running 10,790 Autolite 250 2 1 250/250 Running 32,625